The Garmin vs Fitbit Battle

I’ve now had my Garmin Vivosmart+ watch for just over a month.  Before that I had the Fitbit Charge HR for a year and a half.  I’m coming as a convert from the Fitbit community, my first true love in the realm of activity trackers, but the Garmin has been a fairly easy transition.  There are still some things that I like and some that I dislike about it.


  • I like the GPS feature…a lot.  I’m looking forward to using it on our backpacking trip to Idaho this weekend because it is so much easier to let my watch show me where I went versus trying to map it with zigzagged lines on websites like either Mapymyhikecom or Hillmap.com.  This is probably the best feature over the Fitbit so far.
  • The size and look is fairly similar to the Fitbit Charge HR so in terms of looks, well that I was already used to.
  • The Garmin app display is also similar.  Not only does it display steps, stairs, heart rate, sleep, etc. but it also has paces per mile on my runs and breaks up stats by activity to see what all I have accomplished running, weightlifting, etc.
  • So far the battery lasts quite a long time and I only have to charge it about once a week or a little more.
  • It’s waterproof.  That’s another big plus.  I can shower with my watch on and the manufacturing of it seems pretty stout and high quality.


  • The community of the Fitbit was something that I did like.  I admit I paid attention to what my friends and family were doing less often the longer I had the Fitbit but it was still fun to have a little friendly competition and be able to comment or encourage others.  Either I don’t have enough friends on Garmin or the community function of Garmin just isn’t as great because I don’t feel that same level of community.
  • On a similar note…I’m not sure I want to be a part of the Strava community.  So a nice function with Garmin, since it has GPS, is that you can sync your activities to another app called Strava.  This allows to see exactly what routes and activities your friends are doing along with their pace and times.  Kind of cool but also kind of don’t like having my time or distance displayed because it makes me want to never have an easy or slow run.  Maybe that encourages a little too much competition?
  • Although the battery lasts a while I feel like it doesn’t give me enough heads up when my battery is running low.  One minute it gives me a low battery and literally the next its kaput.  This is not okay for when, say, I’m on a 14-mile hike and it quits after the first two miles so it doesn’t record any of it.  People might have a little freak out session when something like that might happen.

So there are pros and cons of each.  So far, so good with my Garmin watch.  I guess I just need to encourage others to join the Garmin community…should follow Bryan’s lead on that.


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